Amherst Fire Department gears up for the Super Bowl

Amherst serves 5 towns, 125 square miles, and about 80,000 people with minimal equipment and a smaller staff

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – As New England Patriots fans gear up for Super Bowl Sunday, so too is the Amherst Fire Department.

Last weekend, the fire department received 22 calls within 4 hours. Fire Chief Tim Nelson said it’s an unusual uptick in calls, and it has them more prepared for this weekend. Chief Nelson told 22News there is more activity whenever the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, but thankfully we’ve been in enough for them to know exactly what to expect.

The Chief is working with UMass Police to increase campus patrols. They’re even emptying dumpsters so no one can start fires in them. He said, “It’s a good plan. We’ve done it in the past, so it should work. The bottom line for us is that we always plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Continuing Coverage: The Big Game

Chief Nelson has a bigger staff to work Sunday night. He and his two assistant chiefs will also be on duty. They plan to operate normally, and send EMS crews to Hadley, Shutesbery, Leverett, or Pelham if needed. He said, “We serve 5 towns, 125 square miles, and about 80,000 people.”

Cheif Nelson has lobbied for more funding to increase staff and get more trucks. He said 8 ambulances, a ladder truck, and 2 front line engines is inadequate to serve 5 towns and several colleges, but that’s what they have for Super Bowl Sunday.

Chief Nelson is reminding people to drink and celebrate responsibly.